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I Never Told You

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I miss those blue eyes, how you kiss me at night
I miss the way we sleep
Like there’s no sunrise, like the taste of your smile
I miss the way we breathe

But I never told you what I should have said
No, I never told you, I just held it in

And now I miss everything about you
I can’t believe it, I still want you
And after all the things we’ve been through
I miss everything about you, without you

I see your blue eyes every time I close mine
You make it hard to see
Where I belong to, when I’m not around you
It’s like I’m not with me

But I never told you what I should have said
No, I never told you, I just held it in

And now I miss everything about you
(Still, you’re gone)
I can’t believe it, I still want you
(And I’m lovin’ you, I never should’ve walked away)
After all the things we’ve been through
(I know it’s never gonna come again)
I miss everything about you, without you

But I never told you what I should have said
No, I never told you, I just held it in

And now I miss everything about you
(Still, you’re gone)
I can’t believe it, I still want you
(And I’m lovin’ you, I never should’ve walked away)
After all the things we’ve been through
(I know it’s never gonna come again)
I miss everything about you, without you


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Written by cherielee

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 3:41 am

Don’t work. Avoid telling the truth. Be hated. Love someone.

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An interesting read. Speech written for the graduating class of 2008, by Adrian Tan, guest-of-honour at NTU Convocation Ceremony, author of The Teenage Textbook (1988).

I must say thank you to the faculty and staff of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information for inviting me to give your convocation address. It’s wonderful honour and a privilege for me to speak here for ten minutes without fear of contradiction, defamation or retaliation. I say this as a Singaporean and more so as a husband.

My wife is a wonderful person and perfect in every way except one. She is the editor of a magazine. She corrects people for a living. She has honed her expert skills over a quarter of a century, mostly by practising at home during conversations between her and me.

On the other hand, I am a litigator. Essentially, I spend my day telling people how wrong they are. I make my living being disagreeable.

Nevertheless, there is perfect harmony in our matrimonial home. That is because when an editor and a litigator have an argument, the one who triumphs is always the wife.

And so I want to start by giving one piece of advice to the men: when you’ve already won her heart, you don’t need to win every argument.

Marriage is considered one milestone of life. Some of you may already be married. Some of you may never be married. Some of you will be married. Some of you will enjoy the experience so much, you will be married many, many times. Good for you.

The next big milestone in your life is today: your graduation. The end of education. You’re done learning.

You’ve probably been told the big lie that “Learning is a lifelong process” and that therefore you will continue studying and taking masters’ degrees and doctorates and professorships and so on. You know the sort of people who tell you that? Teachers. Don’t you think there is some measure of conflict of interest? They are in the business of learning, after all. Where would they be without you? They need you to be repeat customers.

The good news is that they’re wrong.

The bad news is that you don’t need further education because your entire life is over. It is gone. That may come as a shock to some of you. You’re in your teens or early twenties. People may tell you that you will live to be 70, 80, 90 years old. That is your life expectancy.

I love that term: life expectancy. We all understand the term to mean the average life span of a group of people. But I’m here to talk about a bigger idea, which is what you expect from your life.

You may be very happy to know that Singapore is currently ranked as the country with the third highest life expectancy. We are behind Andorra and Japan, and tied with San Marino. It seems quite clear why people in those countries, and ours, live so long. We share one thing in common: our football teams are all hopeless. There’s very little danger of any of our citizens having their pulses raised by watching us play in the World Cup. Spectators are more likely to be lulled into a gentle and restful nap.

Singaporeans have a life expectancy of 81.8 years. Singapore men live to an average of 79.21 years, while Singapore women live more than five years longer, probably to take into account the additional time they need to spend in the bathroom.

So here you are, in your twenties, thinking that you’ll have another 40 years to go. Four decades in which to live long and prosper.

Bad news. Read the papers. There are people dropping dead when they’re 50, 40, 30 years old. Or quite possibly just after finishing their convocation. They would be very disappointed that they didn’t meet their life expectancy.

I’m here to tell you this. Forget about your life expectancy.

After all, it’s calculated based on an average. And you never, ever want to expect being average.

Revisit those expectations. You might be looking forward to working, falling in love, marrying, raising a family. You are told that, as graduates, you should expect to find a job paying so much, where your hours are so much, where your responsibilities are so much.

That is what is expected of you. And if you live up to it, it will be an awful waste.

If you expect that, you will be limiting yourself. You will be living your life according to boundaries set by average people. I have nothing against average people. But no one should aspire to be them. And you don’t need years of education by the best minds in Singapore to prepare you to be average.

What you should prepare for is mess. Life’s a mess. You are not entitled to expect anything from it. Life is not fair. Everything does not balance out in the end. Life happens, and you have no control over it. Good and bad things happen to you day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment. Your degree is a poor armour against fate.

Don’t expect anything. Erase all life expectancies. Just live. Your life is over as of today. At this point in time, you have grown as tall as you will ever be, you are physically the fittest you will ever be in your entire life and you are probably looking the best that you will ever look. This is as good as it gets. It is all downhill from here. Or up. No one knows.

What does this mean for you? It is good that your life is over.

Since your life is over, you are free. Let me tell you the many wonderful things that you can do when you are free.

The most important is this: do not work.

Work is anything that you are compelled to do. By its very nature, it is undesirable.

Work kills. The Japanese have a term “Karoshi”, which means death from overwork. That’s the most dramatic form of how work can kill. But it can also kill you in more subtle ways. If you work, then day by day, bit by bit, your soul is chipped away, disintegrating until there’s nothing left. A rock has been ground into sand and dust.

There’s a common misconception that work is necessary. You will meet people working at miserable jobs. They tell you they are “making a living”. No, they’re not. They’re dying, frittering away their fast-extinguishing lives doing things which are, at best, meaningless and, at worst, harmful.

People will tell you that work ennobles you, that work lends you a certain dignity. Work makes you free. The slogan “Arbeit macht frei” was placed at the entrances to a number of Nazi concentration camps. Utter nonsense.

Do not waste the vast majority of your life doing something you hate so that you can spend the small remainder sliver of your life in modest comfort. You may never reach that end anyway.

Resist the temptation to get a job. Instead, play. Find something you enjoy doing. Do it. Over and over again. You will become good at it for two reasons: you like it, and you do it often. Soon, that will have value in itself.

I like arguing, and I love language. So, I became a litigator. I enjoy it and I would do it for free. If I didn’t do that, I would’ve been in some other type of work that still involved writing fiction – probably a sports journalist.

So what should you do? You will find your own niche. I don’t imagine you will need to look very hard. By this time in your life, you will have a very good idea of what you will want to do. In fact, I’ll go further and say the ideal situation would be that you will not be able to stop yourself pursuing your passions. By this time you should know what your obsessions are. If you enjoy showing off your knowledge and feeling superior, you might become a teacher.

Find that pursuit that will energise you, consume you, become an obsession. Each day, you must rise with a restless enthusiasm. If you don’t, you are working.

Most of you will end up in activities which involve communication. To those of you I have a second message: be wary of the truth. I’m not asking you to speak it, or write it, for there are times when it is dangerous or impossible to do those things. The truth has a great capacity to offend and injure, and you will find that the closer you are to someone, the more care you must take to disguise or even conceal the truth. Often, there is great virtue in being evasive, or equivocating. There is also great skill. Any child can blurt out the truth, without thought to the consequences. It takes great maturity to appreciate the value of silence.

In order to be wary of the truth, you must first know it. That requires great frankness to yourself. Never fool the person in the mirror.

I have told you that your life is over, that you should not work, and that you should avoid telling the truth. I now say this to you: Be Hated.

It’s not as easy as it sounds. Do you know anyone who hates you? Yet every great figure who has contributed to the human race has been hated, not just by one person, but often by a great many. That hatred is so strong it has caused those great figures to be shunned, abused, murdered and in one famous instance, nailed to a cross.

One does not have to be evil to be hated. In fact, it’s often the case that one is hated precisely because one is trying to do right by one’s own convictions. It is far too easy to be liked, one merely has to be accommodating and hold no strong convictions. Then one will gravitate towards the centre and settle into the average. That cannot be your role. There are a great many bad people in the world, and if you are not offending them, you must be bad yourself. Popularity is a sure sign that you are doing something wrong.

The other side of the coin is this: fall in love.

I didn’t say “be loved”. That requires too much compromise. If one changes one’s looks, personality and values, one can be loved by anyone.

Rather, I exhort you to Love another human being. It may seem odd for me to tell you this. You may expect it to happen naturally, without deliberation. That is false. Modern society is anti-love. We’ve taken a microscope to everyone to bring out their flaws and shortcomings. It far easier to find a reason not to love someone, than otherwise. Rejection requires only one reason. Love requires complete acceptance. It is hard work – the only kind of work that I find palatable.

Loving someone has great benefits. There is admiration, learning, attraction and something which, for the want of a better word, we call happiness. In loving someone, we become inspired to better ourselves in every way. We learn the truth worthlessness of material things. We celebrate being human. Loving is good for the soul.

Loving someone is therefore very important, and it is also important to choose the right person. Despite popular culture, love doesn’t happen by chance, at first sight, across a crowded dance floor. It grows slowly, sinking roots first before branching and blossoming. It is not a silly weed, but a mighty tree that weathers every storm.

You will find, that when you have someone to love, that the face is less important than the brain, and the body is less important than the heart.

You will also find that it is no great tragedy if your love is not reciprocated. You are not doing it to be loved back. Its value is to inspire you.

Finally, you will find that there is no half-measure when it comes to loving someone. You either don’t, or you do with every cell in your body, completely and utterly, without reservation or apology. It consumes you, and you are reborn, all the better for it.

Don’t work. Avoid telling the truth. Be hated. Love someone.


Written by cherielee

Sunday, April 24, 2011 at 12:05 am

Family Ties

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Written by cherielee

Thursday, November 25, 2010 at 5:16 am

Eat, Pray, Love.

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People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave.

A soul mate’s purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master…

 

~ Elizabeth Gilbert


Written by cherielee

Sunday, October 24, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Lessons from the Square Watermelon

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Interesting article… Please read on.

Japanese grocery stores had a problem. They are much smaller than shops in the USA and therefore don’t have ample storage space. Watermelons wasted a lot of storage space as they are usually big and round. Most people would simply tell the grocery stores that watermelons grow round and there is nothing that could be done about it. But some Japanese farmers took a different approach.

It wasn’t long before they invented the square watermelon. The farmers did not assume it was impossible – they simply asked how it could be done.

They found out that if they were to put the watermelon in a square box when it is growing, the watermelon will take on the shape of the box – and grow into a square fruit. This made the grocery stores happy and had the added benefit that it was much easier and cost effective to ship the watermelons. Consumers also loved them because they took up less space in their refrigerators which are much smaller than those in the US. Growers could also charge a premium price for these square watermelons.

 

What has this got to do with our Life or Job? There are a few learning points which I felt you should take note of:

Don’t Assume Breaking yourself away from assumption can greatly improve your overall life as you are constantly on the lookout for new and improved ways of doing things. Most people will automatically assume that square watermelons were impossible even before thinking about the question. Doing things a certain way your entire life is like growing a round watermelon. However, if you take time to think through, there might be another way.

Question Habits The best way to tackle these assumptions is to question your habits. If you can make an effort to question the way you do things on a consistent basis, you will find that you can continually improve the way you work. Forming habits when they have been well thought out is usually a positive thing, but most of us have adopted our habits from various people and places without even thinking about them.

Be Creative When faced with a problem, be creative in looking for a solution. This often requires thinking out of the box. Most people will think of how they could alter the shape of the watermelons genetically. However, by thinking out of the box, the solution can be quite simple. Being creative and looking at things in a different view point will help you find solutions to various problems where others are not able to see.

Alternative Solutions Get into the habit of asking yourself, “Is there a better way I could be doing this?” and you will find that often there is. The square watermelon question is merely seeking a better and more convenient way of doing something. The stores faced a problem and were asked if a solution was possible. It’s impossible to find a better solution if you didn’t ask a question in the first place.

Nothing is Impossible If you begin with the notion that something is impossible, then it will obviously be impossible. Don’t say no, without even trying.

 

Apply these learning points to all areas in your life (work, finances, relationships, etc.) and you will find that by consistently applying them, you will constantly be improving all aspects of your life.

I am sure we can bring about change if we really want to.

 

I’m going to leave you with two amazing quotes…

“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by things you didn’t do than the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in the sails. Dream. Explore. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.” ~ Buonarroti Michelangelo

 

CAUSEPLAY: “Youths Today, Leaders Tomorrow”

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*my final submission for *SCAPE New Media Ambassador Quest

 

Vision

Shift perceptions of youth by combating alienation through creating a global movement of brave new voices and to inspire youths to reach their divine potential.

Mission

“Youths Today, Leaders Tomorrow” empowers the next generation of youths to discover their inner potential by breaking out of their boundaries and nurturing them to be leaders through social entrepreneurship using new media activities.

 

Cause

As part of a core group of counselors supporting a community of youths at risks, my life centers around the hardship and difficulties that youth face on a day-to-day basis. Many of them go home daily facing broken homes, harboring depressive thoughts about the aimlessness of their lives. Some seek solace with friends, some take to other means and some just have no idea how to handle themselves.

Deprived of opportunities for genuine productivity, lured into consumptive roles, young people come to believe that their lives make little difference to the world. But yet at heart I know that each and every one of them has an innate value to society that hidden within them is a fire to succeed, and to give back, just that at this moment in their lives, it lays suppressed, unable to shine. I want to help them explore different opportunities and meaningful differences, conditioning them into brilliant gems such that they, the youths of today, will be the leaders of our nation tomorrow.

My cause will bring out the best in them to become a catalyst of positive change individually and also, make an impact in their communities. Youths are offered new opportunities to experience heretofore unknown facets of life. They will learn more about themselves and grow from successes and failures. I want to push the boundaries of discovery by challenging them, inspiring them and instilling them a sense of wonder about the ongoing around them. I want the youths to grow up in a society with no limits on their dreams and to develop into compassionate and committed adults. I want them to take ownership of the things they do. I want every youth to have the same chances to learn and grow. I want to make a difference in their lives and by motivating them to grab life in their hands and to live their dreams.

 

Proposal

Winning the recent “Wonder Chef” 我要当食神, helped open many doors to pursue my talent in the culinary arts. I would like to latch on this platform and collaborate with celebrity chefs to publish my second culinary book and also begin a social enterprise with young people at heart.

 

Culinary Book 

Following the success of my first publication solely based on the purpose for charity, I am going to create another breakthrough with my second culinary book, this time with an added twist – Innovation. I would like to collaborate with celebrity chefs and local cafés and invite their contribution to this culinary book specifically dedicated to help fund youth development projects (Café with a Purpose). It may be a slim volume running less than 50 pages and cost less than $35 but this yet-to-be-titled Culinary Book comes with a serious message and buying a copy could genuinely help improve somebody’s life. The book will feature at least 30 delicious innovative recipes lovingly contributed by celebrity chefs and local cafés. This could just be one of the tastiest and most enjoyable way of supporting youth development.

 

Social Enterprise 

I would like to start a social enterprise involving youths. Café with a Purpose – The purpose is the empowerment of young people who need a chance to establish their place in the world and also for customers who patronize enjoy fantastic food with knowledgeable and excellent customer service.

The youths will have significant roles as participants and leaders in assuming ownership of this café. Leadership is an amalgamation of many different vital skill sets such as involving communicating, delegating, recognizing and empowering. The establishment of this Café with a Purpose is for youths to learn within the actual work environment and from experts that they will work with and be inspired by. The youths will be equipped with problem analysis and solving skills, a desire to work as a team, social skills, patience, commitment, diplomacy and leadership qualities in the course of work. Their levels of responsibility will gradually increase with the skill that they acquire through this direct hands-on approach in the operations of a business in a real-life situation. Each youth will be appointed a unique role (e.g. Commis) and a mentor (e.g. Chef de partie) to guide them in the station’s responsibilities and operations.

Youths set goals and celebrate accomplishments which in turn help to boost their confidence and belief that they can achieve anything they want in their lives despite the setbacks they might have experienced, breaking out of their boundaries. This might kick start an entrepreneurial spirit in these youths as they discover and practice their interests and skills, test their independence and take control of their lives to be leaders of our nation tomorrow, living their dreams with no limits.

 

*my final submission for *SCAPE New Media Ambassador Quest

 

Best Regards

Cherie Lee

 

 

Additional Links

New Media Frenzy

Gastro-Porn

Youths Today, Leaders Tomorrow

New Media Ambassador Quest

 

Selfless

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Written by cherielee

Monday, May 3, 2010 at 11:05 am

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